The "freakish" athleticism of Payne Haas is inspiring his Brisbane NRL teammates as the teenage prop prepares to play for the Broncos again.
The 19-year-old will start on Saturday against Queensland Cup side Souths-Logan in Warwick after an impressive off-season comeback from shoulder surgery.
Haas debuted at 18 but played just 36 action-packed minutes of NRL across three games off the bench, before a shoulder dislocation eventually ruled him out for all of last season.
The powerhouse has since signed a six-year extension worth a reported $3 million and, having fully recovered, is in such good shape that he's inspiring his older teammates.
"He's got a lot of skill. It's pretty freakish to see how quick and how fit and how big he is," said Jake Turpin, who will play hooker in Saturday's trial.
"I've got to play big minutes so to see a 125kg prop be fitter than us is pretty extraordinary.
"A lot of young forwards are starting to look up to him and he's only a young forward himself."
Turpin and Haas are two of only five players with NRL experience in an extended 23-man squad for the first of three pre-season hit-outs - and the first for new coach Anthony Seibold.
Centre Gehamat Shibasaki and former Melbourne and South Sydney winger Richie Kennar will also get playing time, while Patrick Mago hopes to make an impression after breaking through last season for 12 senior games.
"It's been a big pre-season - the boys are itching to get out there," Mago said.
"I just look at him (Haas) as a freak. Killing it at that weight just motivates me, a big boy running like that."
Exciting forwards Thomas Flegler and Patrick Carrigan have been named in the starting side ahead of Mago.
"We have got heaps of young forwards coming through and a lot of healthy competition," Mago said.
"I've got to work hard to try and maintain my spot in the team."
Palm Beach Currumbin High standout Tom Dearden, still just 17, will start at halfback for the Broncos, while prop Andrew Savelio will hope for better luck when he returns from a knee injury suffered in last season's corresponding trial game.
Brisbane squad: Tesi Niu, Richie Kennar, Gehamat Shibasaki, Ed Burns, Herbie Farnworth, Troy Dargan, Tom Dearden, Payne Haas, Jake Turpin, Thomas Flegler, Andre Savelio, Jamil Hopoate, Patrick Carrigan.
Res: Kobe Hetherington, Leenan Palasia, Jordan Grant, Patrick Mago, Ethan Bullemor, Tanah Boyd, Cory Paix, Xavier Coates, Ilikena Vudogo.
Australian Associated Press